Relationships are an integral part of human life. We all want to love and be loved. But, in your opinion, what is the most important aspect of it? A healthy relationship, perhaps?
A healthy relationship is one in which you openly discuss each other’s feelings. When we form a stable relationship with our significant other, it provides us with both physical and emotional well-being. But, surely, not everyone has had the same experience? Some people form trauma bonds instead of love bonds. Trauma bonds are toxic relationships that grow stronger over time when couples fail to recognize red flags and hope that their relationship will fix itself with time.
Trauma bonds form in severe cases, such as exploitative or codependent relationships, where one person is emotionally burned out while the other is blissfully unaware of it.
If you were someone who dealt with such toxic relationships, or you have witnessed this type of connection, then here are 10 signs it wasn’t love but a trauma bond and how you can overcome it:
10 Signs It Wasn’t Love But a Trauma Bond
1. You’re Way Too Dependent On Them.
There is a term used to describe people who are overly dependent on their partners, it is known as Codependency. It is a relationship where your happiness and identity is dependent on your significant other.
The issue arises when one person takes advantage of the other. It could be both emotionally and physically draining, as well as financially. It’s almost as if you’re trying to manipulate the other person. Sometimes it’s unintentional whereas most of the time it happens knowingly. This encourages toxic behaviour in relationships, where you constantly give them second chances and they keep on making the same mistakes.
2. You Try To Change Yourself For Them.
A healthy relationship is one where you accept them the way they are. If you have come across a relationship that made you change things about yourself, then it was not “love”, it was definitely a trauma bond and you certainly don’t need anyone in your life who doesn’t love you for who you are.
You can always try to change yourself for the better but never for someone else. If they really cared about you you wouldn’t be changing your habits or individuality for them.
3. You Feel Addicted To Them.
When we think of addiction, substances such as drugs, alcohol come to our minds. However, have you ever wondered if ‘love’ could be an addiction? It’s true, if you feel like you’re becoming addicted to the other person, you’re experiencing the early stages of a trauma bond.
You stick to them even after you’ve had fights that have turned into emotional breakdowns. You continue to be with them because you believe you are nothing without them and there’s no way you can let them go.
Remember to distinguish between love and anything that emotionally breaks you.
4. You Question Yourself If This Is How Love Should Feel Like.
“Love should not make you feel like walking on eggshells.” — Emma Xu
When you fall in love with someone, it should make you feel complete. You should feel happy about being with them. Of course, there are some days when you have petty fights and misunderstandings but that’s normal. The problem occurs when you have constant disagreements and feel invalidated. Is it true love then?
If you have to ask yourself if this is how love should feel then, perhaps, something’s just not right. Don’t try too hard to fight a battle that is already lost. You need to let go of a relationship that is not good for you, both mentally and emotionally.